For generations, summer’s end has been marked by a back to school shopping trip. Whether that meant buying new supplies or picking out a first day of school outfit in your older sister’s closet, back to school shopping initiated the start of a bright new year.
Sadly, returning to school this coming fall will look different for incoming students. With the pandemic still raging, students across the country don’t even know if they will return to campus or continue with at-home virtual learning.
Walmart’s Back to School campaign captures this uncertainty with the promise to make back to school shopping fast and easy, no matter where the schooling takes place. Edited by Lost Planet’s Saar Klein and Bruce Herrman, and directed by Wally Pfister, the family-friendly tone of the campaign illustrates the unprecedented unknowns as clips of traditional school environments revolve into homeschooling set-ups. In one spot, a young kid fitted with crisp clothes, a clean backpack, and a face mask stands among the school lockers, but the shot rolls into another clip of the same boy standing in his bedroom, doing virtual learning. Another commercial flips from footage of a mother helping her daughter pack her backpack with new school supplies, to another scene of the mother helping her daughter conduct a science experiment in their backyard.
The Walmart Back to School campaign marked the first live action, in-person production we worked on since the enforced lockdowns began. While the restrictions imposed by the new production protocols presented challenges, everyone involved was able to successfully do their job. It was encouraging to see our peers getting back to work!